Sunday School Notes 8-23-2015

What is worship?

Psalm 96:1-9

Opening Questions

  • What do you think worship is?
    • Is it just singing, or is it something more?
    • Today we are going to look at an example of worship in the Psalms:

Psalm 96:1-9 (HCSB)

Sing a new song to the Lord; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to Yahweh, praise His name; proclaim His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonderful works among all peoples.

For the Lord is great and is highly praised; He is feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.

Ascribe to the Lord, you families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to Yahweh the glory of His name; bring an offering and enter His courts. Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness; tremble before Him, all the earth.

According to this passage, what are some characteristics of worship?

  • Worship is a declaration.
    • Declarations can be made in song, word and in deed.
    • When we live our lives, our lives make a statement. We worship God with our lives when our lives scream His name.
  • Worship is a proclamation.
    • When we worship, we tell what God has done.
    • When the Gospel is absent, it seems that we cannot worship God.
    • True worship honors God in action and always speaks about salvation in Christ.

According to this passage, what are some characteristics of God?

  • Great and highly praised.
  • Feared above all gods.
  • Made the heavens.
  • Splendor and majesty are before Him.
  • Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.
  • He has glory and strength.
  • His holiness is full of splendor.

Worship is recognizing God’s attributes and praising Him for those attributes.

  • “Ascribe to the Lord…”
  • Here we are going to do an exercise in worship. Have your group talk about some good things that God has done for them.
  • After discussing some good things that God has done for your group, talk about which of God’s characteristics were present in each circumstance (mercy, patience, goodness, strength, etc…)
  • What do these things have to do with salvation in Christ?
  • Spend some time and let each group member pray, thanking God for His attributes.

Questions for class discussion

  • What is an idol?
  • What sort of idols do we have today?
    • Put simply, an idol is anything that we put before God. If we work for money, money is our idol. If we sing for recognition, recognition is our idol. If we play video games for fun, fun is our idol, etc…
    • How can we worship God while doing these things?
  • How does this concept of worship differ from the stereotype of worship?
    • Is there a difference between what worship ‘looks like’ in church and what it should be like in life?
    • Should there be a difference?
  • How would you explain worship to someone else?
  • Knowing that worship encompasses all of life, how can you worship Him in even the simplest of tasks?
    • Doing homework or chores
    • In school or at work
    • In athletics or while taking a nap
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